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30 Probate and Trusts Terms You Should Know

In the world of Probate and Trusts, many terms exist that at first look, might seem hard for nonlawyers to understand. With this article, it is our hope that the experienced trust and probate attorneys at Lee Kiefer & Park, LLC, can help alleviate this concern by simplifying 30 terms.

Lee, Kiefer, & Park, LLC, is a team of probate and estate lawyers. The firm is located in Las Vegas and provides legal services throughout Nevada. The attorneys are knowledgeable and reputable. Managing partner Kennedy E. Lee and partner Matthew W. Park have been listed as preeminent lawyers by the widely respected Martindale-Hubbell lawyer rating service. Each of the founding partners has been selected as Super Lawyers and Legal Elite. The attorneys received their degrees from well-respected law schools.

The following terms are some of the most common terms you will encounter in the world of Probate and Trusts.

Acknowledgement: Any time a document is executed, the individual must declare, or acknowledge, that the document has been executed for the purpose stated in the document. If the individual signing the document is representing another, the acknowledgement must state that the individual had authority to do so.

Administrator: Often, an individual does not have a Will and has not appointed someone to watch over the distribution of their assets. In this case, the Court must appoint an individual to administer the estate. This individual becomes the administrator.

Beneficiary: A beneficiary is a person or entity that has an interest in the property of an individual who has died.

Child: A child is the son or daughter of the individual that has died. This excludes stepchildren, foster children, grandchildren, and other remote descendants.

Claim: Frequently, individuals die owing money to other people or entities. If this liability was acquired before their death, those who are owed can submit a claim for the funds.

Codicil: Many times, an individual wants to modify, revoke, or add one or more provisions to a Will. These desires are accomplished using a document called a codicil.

Descendant: This is a blood relative in a line of succession from a prior generation. For example, child, grandchild, great grandchild, etc.

Devise: This term is used as both a noun and verb. When used as a noun, devise refers to the actual asset of real or personal property that is distributed. For example, the ring I received from my Grandpa is a devise. When used as a verb, the act of disposing real or personal property is to devise.

Devisee: A person designated to receive real or personal property in a Will or Trust is called a devisee.

Estate: In Probate, the estate is the real and personal property of the individual who has died.

Executor: An individual is either designated in a Will or appointed by the Court to execute the provisions of the Will. This individual is an executor.

Gift: This is simply a gratuitous transfer of property for less than the full market value.

Heir: Any person entitled to the property of an individual who has died not having a will is an heir. This will normally start with the spouse, children, and parents.

Holographic Will: In this case, holographic simply means that the Will is handwritten and signed by an individual owning assets.

Intestate: Many individuals do not have a Will. In this case, it is said that the individual dies intestate.

Issue: Issue of an individual includes children, grandchildren, or more remote descendants.

Minor: A person who is under 18 years old.

Nonprobate Transfer: These transfers of property are made by operation of law and are effective at the death of the individual owner. Examples include a security, insurance, bank accounts, etc.

Parent: Any person entitled to take if the child dies without a will. This does not include stepparents, foster parents, or grandparents.

Person: This might seem like common sense. However, the law complicates things. A person can be a natural person, organization or subdivision, or agency.

Personal Representative: Simply put, a personal representative is the individual named in the Will or appointed by the Court to watch over the distribution of assets. Other terms for this include executor, administrator, special administrator, or someone else who performs that function.

Probate: In Nevada, the Court has jurisdiction to administer the estate and distribute the assets of the individual who has died. The process to accomplish this takes place in a legal proceeding called Probate.

Property: This includes real or personal property and interest.

Settlor: A person who creates a trust is called a settlor.

Special Administrator: An individual appointed by the Court to administer the estate of an individual who has died is called a special administrator. Special Administrators are appointed when there is a holdup with the case and it needs to proceed.

Successor Personal Representative: Sometimes, a personal representative that is named in the Will or appointed by the Court cannot serve. Another person named in the Will or appointed by the Court who succeeds a personal representative is a successor personal representative.

Testator: Many individuals execute a Will during their lifetime. When this is the case, the individual is a testator.

Trust: This is an interest in property held by one person for the benefit of another. This is established with a document made during the life of the settlor.

Trustee: A settlor designates an individual to execute the provisions of the Trust. As with personal representatives, this can be an original trustee or successor trustee.

Will: This is a formal document an individual uses to indicate how they would like their property to be divided at their death. This includes documents that revise or revokes a previous document.

We would love to speak with you concerning any Probate and Trusts needs you may have. Contact Lee Kiefer & Park, LLC, for a free consultation, either by using the online form or by calling 702-333-1711.

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